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Country singer Kelsea Ballerini opened the CMT Music Awards with a tribute to victims of a school shooting while sharing in that community’s grief, then danced alongside drag artists as states across the country consider legally limiting drag show performances.
if you go down, i’m going down too 🏳️🌈 // thank you to these iconic queens and @manilaluzon @kennedyddoftx @janjanjan @TheOliviaLux and @CMT for celebrating love, self expression, and performance.
📸 John Shearer @GettyImages pic.twitter.com/jZ3JTVI3ny
— Kelsea Ballerini (@KelseaBallerini) April 3, 2023
Ballerini, a co-host of the annual awards show with singer Kane Brown, opened the Austin, Texas, show by listing the names of six victims three adults and three 9-year-olds who were killed Monday at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. She noted how she shared their pain, explaining that in 2008 she witnessed a school shooting in her hometown high school cafeteria in Knoxville and prayed for “real action” that would protect children and families.
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